Stop Right Now

Stop right now, or at least slow down. At least a little.
Above: Cuphea ssp. , NOID, I thought it was bat face, but see that one only has the two red upper petals. Anyone? Cuphea miniata?

It happens every year around this time, when June starts to heat up the sloping USDA Zone 7a Fairegarden. Rain becomes infrequent, with pop up showers rather than the long, soaking rains of earlier months. Temperatures can soar to nearly triple digits.

Above: Ornamental pepper, Capsicum anuum ‘Black Pearl’ and Calibrachoa ‘Terracotta’

But this is the time when the garden centers, nurseries, big box stores and even the groceries are loaded to the rafters with jaw-dropping flowering plants, calling us over to admire them, sniff them, touch them, imagine them in an inspired planting in our own gardens and whisk them into the shopping cart. It needs to stop, right now. Do not buy any more plants.

Above: Petunias from the grocery

No more new plants after the first week in June, that is written on the notes to self in the journal every year. There is too much traveling done in June for various reasons. Newly planteds need extra watering and care, not total abandonment for days on end. It is a roll of the roulette wheel as to whether it will rain enough to keep the established plants in the ground and in containers especially happy and thriving. Newbies don’t stand a chance if there is no precipitation from above in blazing heat so why waste good money?

Above: Featuring Diascia barberae Darla® ‘Deep Salmon’ and Cuphea ignea

And yet, look at this.
Above: I know, it’s just a bachelor button/cornflower, Centaurea cyanus, but I don’t have any this year and look at that blue. Besides, seeds can be saved from it.

And look at these. Talk about a waste, the number of times that Echinacea ‘Sundown’ has been purchased and died before even one season has passed should be a crime. Some people should know better. Really. Seriously. But that COLOR!

Besides, someone already has more than enough plants. HA
Above: Dahlia ‘Gallery Cobra’ front and Dahlia ‘Gallery Singer’ that have wintered over.


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10 Responses to Stop Right Now

  1. Ah, how lovely, and how tempting… One of the advantages (?) of my small-town existence is that I don’t tend to bump into plants that shout ‘ME ME ME!’ – but oh boy – when I get to the city do I go nursery crawling!

    Thanks Jack. When traveling to fancy, schmancy big city nurseries/garden centers, all rules are null and void! Of course we need a little memento from our travels, why not a live one?

  2. Meta says:

    I always tell myself too not to buy any just before I go on vacation or whatever. But who can resist that beautiful blue of the cornflower? Glad you got it anyway. Hope you get plenty of seeds from it.

    Thanks Meta. The blue cornflower is the most wonderful color, and it is perfect with those hot hued Dahlias. Seed will be sprinkled.

  3. Barbara H. says:

    I love your rule but…well…rules are made to be broken. Right? Love all the colors this groggy morning. Yawn. Guess I need to get my coffee.

    Hi Barbara, I hope you are enjoying your coffee by now. It is the very first thing I must do every single morning, infuse my system with caffeive. I am not much of a rule follower either, as evidenced by the plants I keep buying!

  4. Oh Frances, you can’t yell “stop” and then ignite desire for more with all those luscious photographs. I’ve never seen that “Sundown” echinacea but I want one. Hey, I’m still looking for your butterfly weed. Actually I had lectured myself on the way home from work just yesterday – “no more planting until fall.” HA!

    HA Georgia, sorry! I might be yelling stop, but obviously I am not listening! What out for Sundown, it can break your heart. But oh so pretty.

  5. So glad to read that I’m not the only one who has experienced failure with echinacea Sundown being a trustworthy perennial. The blue of the cornflower is beyond perfection. It reminds me of flawless mid Sept. sky when the humidity suddenly leaves and life seems impossibly good.

    Thanks Michaele. Sundown is such a beautiful color, and my daughter grows it to perfection year after year with no deaths. She has even divided it and moved it about. Mine always die, but this year will be different! HA The color of the cornflower is irresistable. You are so poetic!

  6. Every year I try to stop and every year I am in June still planting…this year I did stop by the beginning of June although our weather is so changeable it is prime planting weather right now when it should be hot, dry and humid.

    We lucked out with a little rain, too, Donna. Total cold turkey stopping is nearly impossible, but I am doing a bit better than normal this year. That could change in a day though.

  7. Gail says:

    It’s too darn tempting out there! I stopped by a big box store to get mosquito repellant and had to fight the urge to get a few of those cutie pie coreopsis they had on sale…May get them anyway and store them in the kiddie pools! Beautiful cuphea…I have a tiny one, too. xoxogail

    Thanks Gail. Plants marked down, so hard to resist! I like your kiddie pool idea, may that work well for those new coreopsis.

  8. Lyn says:

    I don’t even bother pretending to make this rule any more (here it’s December rather than June, but the principle’s the same). Not making the rule stops me from the guilt of breaking it every year 🙂

    Hi Lyn, thanks for adding to the conversation here. Guilt isn’t something that pops up for me too much. And I am a long time rule breaker, anyway. HA

  9. sandy lawrence says:

    Don’t fight it, Frances. It’s an addiction and I keep telling myself there are worse. E. ‘Sundown’ comes back for me each year, but late. This year, however, we had an influx of cutworms and they went right for Sundown before I noticed their arrival and started feeding them to the birds. But, speaking of non-dependable perennials, anybody out there try Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’? Mine didn’t come back, and we had a mild winter, ayk. Bummer.

    HA Sandy, I must not be giving the fight my best effort, for new plants keep showing up here. I am so sorry to hear of your Sundown attack, dang bugs. I am not familiar with that Salvia, but find many of them to not be hardy here, sadly. I do replant some, the hummers love them so.

  10. I can feel your pain. I promised myself no more indoor plants but while at a nursery I don’t frequent I found some begoniaas with huge leaves. I fell in love. I have several. It is a terrible thing. I will curse my self this fall and winter. I just can’t stop myself. I need help.

    I am so sorry for your affliction, Lisa, but feel there is little help for you here other than sympathy and compassion. We just can’t help ourselves.

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